Kim Jae Duk returns to Singapore to work again with T.H.E Dance Company – choreographing ‘Equilibrium’ for Triple Bill – M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival with performances on the 1st and 2nd of December at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Kim Jae Duk is T.H.E Dance Company’s Resident Choreographer and has been working closely with Kuik Swee Boon for more than five years. A creative working in the zone where dance and live music cross over to present challenging rhythms and eye-popping choreography, and a former dancer with LDP Dance Company, Kim Jae Duk holds a Master’s in choreography from the Korea National University of the Arts, and he is currently pursuing a PhD in dance studies at Sungkyunkwan University.
Darkness Poomba is the latest work from Jae Duk and his company Modern Table touring the U.K. – 70% dance and 30% concert, agile and dashing movement unifies the ensemble with military precision. Kim Jae Duk confronts all at once with light-footed choreography, using utter stillness to create suspense.
In an email interview, Kim Jae Duk confesses to creating dance material in his body first, unlike a lot of choreographers, myself included who often prefer to create dance material on the dancers available.
Countering the terminology of choreographer, he prefers to introduce himself as ‘someone who expresses best with physicality.’ In ‘Equilibrium’ Jae Duk wants the audience to connect to the choreography and fully understand his unique, intuitive and reflective movement material.
Working with the dancers from T.H.E Dance Company in Singapore this time around has proven to be a more focused work, delivering action straight from the source into the performer’s hands.
Our audience would like to understand a bit more about your process in the studio. Can you please, talk us through how you select your dancers and what is your motivation to make choreography?
First and foremost, I trust my instincts and intuition, and that applies when I choose my dancers.
I have an introspective character, so I come from a place looking inwards where I can be alone with my thoughts. It usually starts with a working title of which I will form an ontological framework integrating and conceptualising all the information I have within the subject matter. But I must have the mental space first to do that.’
Can you describe your relationship with music and dance?
I listen to music with my heart, I steep myself in the language of the soul, reinventing it with a rhythmic and visceral heft and gestural vocabulary of my own. I allow it to flow within me, and this applies to my choreographic work too.